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Announcement: Collective Reading

Collective / group reading practices, both online and historical, distributed and on location (as in a classroom).

TimesPeople Transliteracies Research Report

The New York Times released TimesPeople on June 18, 2008 with the goal of creating a social network based on sharing content from the website. The June 18th launch, previously available only in Firefox and as a plug-in, became more widely available in September 2008 and allowed users additional features like the ability to sync their TimesPeople activity with their Facebook accounts. More recently, in February, The New York Times added the TimesPeople API to their current list of APIs to facilitate interaction with the Times outside of the website and to move one step closer to reimagining the future of the news through collaboration with developers.

Starter Links: TimesPeople Home Page

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Renee Hudson

The Lost Ring Alternate Reality Game Transliteracies Research Report

Find the Lost Ring is a multiplayer alternate reality game created to promote the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

“The Lost Ring was a global, multi-lingual alternate reality game that united players in a quest to recover ancient Olympic secrets. It centered around Ariadne, a lost Olympic athlete from a parallel universe.

Discreetly sponsored by McDonald’s, the experience engaged younger audiences who dislike overt marketing” (www.thelostring.com).

Starter Links: The Lost Ring Home Page

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Lindsay Brandon Hunter

World Without Oil Alternate Reality Game Transliteracies Research Report

“A massively collaborative imagining of the first 32 weeks of a global oil crisis” (worldwithoutoil.org).

“WORLD WITHOUT OIL is a serious game for the public good. WWO invited people from all walks of life to contribute “collective imagination” to confront a real-world issue: the risk our unbridled thirst for oil poses to our economy, climate and quality of life. It’s a milestone in the quest to use games as democratic, collaborative platforms for exploring possible futures and sparking future-changing action. WWO set the model for using a hot net-native storytelling method (‘alternate reality’) to meet civic and educational goals. Best of all, it was compellingly fun” (worldwithoutoil.org).

Starter Links: World Without Oil Home Page | ITVS Interactive

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Lindsay Brandon Hunter

The Lost Experience Transliteracies Research Report

Between seasons two and three of the television show Lost, ABC launched “The Lost Experience,” an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) designed to maintain viewer interest in the show. “The Lost Experience,” like many ARGs, incorporated a variety of media into its implementation. Players were encouraged to watch commercials that aired during the last episodes of season two in order to be notified of relevant websites that would provide clues to the game. In addition to websites, users watched mini-movies, read advertisements, and a tie-in novel. They were also directed towards recordings and podcasts over the course of “The Lost Experience.”

Starter Links: Interview with creators | Wikipedia article | Lostpedia

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Renee Hudson

Google’s Knol

Knol is a new publishing platform in testing by Google. Compared to Wikipedia, Knol differs in one crucial aspect: authorial transparency. “Knols,” or pages, are created by one author who then has editorial control over the article. Other users may submit revisions to the author, but they may not edit the page on their own. Knol will include multiple pages on the same topic and will allow users to rate and comment upon individual “knols.” As of this writing, Knol is in a preliminary testing phase and there is no projected public release date.

Starter Links: Google Blog announcing Knol | C|Net Article |

History Flow

History Flow is a tool created by Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenburg as part of the IBM Collaborative User Experience Research Group. Viegas’ and Wattenburg’s creation visualizes “dynamic, evolving documents and the interactions of multiple collaborating authors. In its current implementation, history flow is being used to visualize the evolutionary history of wiki* pages on Wikipedia” (history flow home page). The tool works by color coding edits according to the user who makes the changes. The result is a richly detailed visual overview of the life of a page. History Flow’s outputs allow visual analysis of issues critical to the credibility of Wikipedia, such as collaboration, vandalism, edit wars, etc.

Starter Links: History Flow home page | IBM Collaborative User Experience home page | Wikipedia


Online news source that allows readers to contribute and rate content.

“Digg is a user driven social content website. Ok, so what the heck does that mean? Well, everything on Digg is submitted by our community (that would be you). After you submit content, other people read your submission and Digg what they like best. If your story rocks and receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of visitors to see.

What can you do as a Digg user? Lots. Every person can digg (help promote), bury (help remove spam), and comment on stories… you can even Digg and bury comments you like or dislike. Digg also allows you to track your friends’ activity throughout the site – want to share a video or news story with a friend? Digg it!” (from the site’s about page.)

Starter Link: digg.com

Desktop Theater Transliteracies Research Report

Desktop Theater utilizes 2-d visual chat to stage performances of theatrical texts. In addition to the participants who act out the parts of scripted characters, other users may take part in the performance in unpredictable ways.

“Making a compelling theatrical intervention or engaging group activity in a virtual public space is an adventure. Here, live theater has new parameters: gestures, emotions and speech are compressed into 2 dimensions and computer speech. How can we work within these boundaries to hold peopleís attention long enough to ask some questions? And why should we even want to?”

“There are many hundreds, perhaps even thousands of palaces (networked graphical spaces) that are used for a variety of purposes: social, promotional, conferencing, fan-based, etc. During the course of our Desktop Theater performances we inhabit several high-trafficked social palaces, as well as performing other activities in our own publicly accessible customized palace: the Genetically Enhanced Palace (GEP).”

Starter Links: Desktop Theater | “Clicking for Godot,” a Salon article by Scott Rosenberg

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Jason Farman

Fan-Made Music Videos Transliteracies Research Report

Digitized objects that re-configure text, sound, and images from different originals, in order to create a new, sometimes satirical or subversive, art object.

“The basic concept behind fan-made MV (music videos) is to match the rhythm (and lyrics, if using a song) of a piece of one music with the pictures from a different visual object, such that the music and pictures vitalize each other, in order to initiate a fresh mutual understanding. The resulting hybrid work offers a distinctly different art object from either of the original pieces, one that can function paradoxically as both as satire and homage.” (From Weiwei Ren’s Supplemental Research.)

Starter Links: www.youtube.com

Supplemental ResearchSupplemental Research By Weiwei Ren


Browser designed with integrated social-networking features, including integration with Flickr, del.icio.us, and blogs (still in “developer preview” release as of Jan. 2005):

“We believe that it should be easy for everyone to contribute to and participate on the web. To that end, we’ve started with integrating tools that make it easier to blog, publish your photos and share and discover things that are interesting to you.” (from Flock home page)

“Flock did a good job at sticking to the basic structure of a browser and basically looks like a beautified Firefox, but with extra features. The buttons on the navigation bar has the basic back, forward, refresh, and home button. But you also get a few new buttons such as a button to open the blog editor, the favorites manager, and the star button to star a site…. There are only two topbars as of now. The “Flickr Photosâ€? and ‘Blog Topbar.’” (from detailed review of 18 Oct. 2005 on Solution Watch site)

Starter Links: Flock home page | Solution Watch review, 18 Oct. 2005